Under Attack

My garden is under attack. I suppose that’s what nature’s all about. I’m just a bit stumped as to what I should do to combat my assailants.
Half-eaten tomatoExhibit A: Nibbled tomatoes. This tomato, and several of his fellows, are clearly being enjoyed by some creature that is not me. A bird I’m thinking. Which one, who knows. How to beat him, probably with a net over my plants. Deb & Chris told me they once got tired of birds stealing their grapes so they put a net over them. Then they had to deal with birds trapped in the netting. Hmmmm, maybe not.
Tomato disease
Exhibit B: Tomato rot. Some sort of fungus has attacked our tomatoes. It clearly is zapping the strength from the plants. I will have to check to see if there is something I can do to prevent this since I’ve just planted 2 new tomatoes. Truth be told it’s not a crisis since I think most of the fruit is going to ripen anyway. The fruit the birds and worms don’t get, that is.Munched celery

Exhibit C: Munched celery. I found a nice, fat, green worm/caterpillar here yesterday and a couple more for good measure. I’m pretty sure they are cabbage moths and are a regular visitor to anything new and tasty in our garden. These I combat by pulling them off and throwing them into a plant they can eat in peace. I don’t see any point in squishing them. They’ve eaten celery, tomatoes, radishes (ha, jokes on them, the bulb never grows anyway so I don’t care), rocket, basil, peppers, horseradish,… oh, honestly, they’ll eat and have eaten almost everything growing in my garden.

Not shown, but an ongoing threat are aphids. These I now squish and smear the remains on the plant whenever I find them. Horrific genocide but I’m hoping they get the hint. They now stay away from the orange tree but seem pretty stubborn on the rose. I think I’ll need to inspect the celery (the ones not eaten by the caterpillar) to see if the aphids are still there.

The mildew is back on the cucumber and zucchini. I’ll have to spray with a more diluted mixture. Interestingly the cukes in the shade didn’t suffer the same burning as those in the sun so maybe it was the sunshine (on top of my sprayed mixture) that was more to blame than the over-strength bicarb.

Probably the worst attack of all is coming from the weather. It’s getting hot again and many plants, no matter if their label says “full sun” or not, just don’t like it hot. They dry out, fall over, then totally collapse when watered and really just give up on the whole living thing. New seedlings are worst. I’ve yet to get any spring onions to grow and I think it’s because they stay in the seedling stage for too long. In Sydney you just don’t get long stretches without a hot spell in summer. I’m going to try more things in the shady bed because, so far, that’s been immune.

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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